Friday, February 6, 2009

Searching for Helen Carlson

It's odd.
I have this google gadget that shows me how many people visit my site and what they're searching for when they land on it. Most soon realize my blog entries are not what they were searching for and flit away.

But I do get searches for a "Helen Carlson" that lead to my entry about my mother. I would like to think there are still people out there that remember her as a friend, a cousin, a sister, a teacher, a lover, an enigma, or even as the sarcastic neighbor who mowed their egos with her tongue. She was twitchy with energy, smarts, humor, and rage. Lovable or detestable, but not easy to forget.

But unforgettable also requires people with active memories. And here is where the ponderous wheel of time erases generations and collective memory. Mom died in 1975. Much has happened since then...including the deaths of her parents, cousins, friends, and even some of her students. Yes, I'm the obvious person to write something about her, and I did some of that in my first book of poetry and plan to do more in a memoirish novel. But as she keeps moving back and back and back into long ago I find myself wishing I wasn't practically the last person alive who misses her. I'm her daughter which is huge and also rather limiting, god knows we are all more than the sum of our children's perceptions of us. I'd like to know the other stories about her that I will now, never get to hear.

Luckily my father has included her in his autobiography, I have that and I'm grateful for it. But are there any more of you out there? Please share the stories.

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